Sep 29, 2015

Pomelo is In Season Now - A Nice Addition to Seared Chicken Leg Rice

Chinese Moon Festival just passed a few days ago and many of us Asian people had quite a feast that night. Barbecue and moon cakes are two of the most common food associate with this holiday. A healthier but still tasty autumn related option is pomelo, a type of large citrus well known among Asian countries. 

A good pomelo carries a light citrusy aroma, sweet to a point without much sourness in the back note. Its taste can be a good addition to seared chicken and grilled fish. Thought it would be a good idea utilizing what's abundant now to brighten up this rice meal, and of course healthier option always follows after a big festive meal. 

Seared chicken leg rice with Chinese chive flowers stir fry and pomelo pulps -

Ingredients (for two portions)?

Side dish:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small bundle Chinese chives or chive flowers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Small pinch black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon black soy bean paste 醬油膏
  • 3 garlic cloves (optional)


  • 1 deboned chicken leg
  • 2 bowls steamed white rice
  • 2 sprigs cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Some Sriracha sauce
  • Some fresh pomelo pulps


Cook some white rice, at least enough for two people. 

Cut the deboned chicken leg into large bite size pieces. Mix all the marinade ingredients inside a bowl. Add in the chicken piece and massage the meat a little. Set aside while preparing other ingredients. The meat doesn't need to be marinated for long since we'll "cook in" the sauce afterwards. Add 3 peeled garlic cloves to the marinade if desired, but not necessary.

Peel away the thick skin from the pomelo and carefully pick out the flesh in between membranes. Store in a sealed container and transfer to the fridge first. This recipe only needs a small portion of the pomelo flesh, you can enjoy the rest maybe as a after meal treat.

Peel and slice the onion. Chop the Chinese chives or Chinese chive flowers in to shorter strips. 

Drizzle some oil to the pan and turn to medium high heat. Add in the onion slices along with some salt and pepper. Cook till the onion turns translucent then add in the chives. Cook till the chives reach desired texture, transfer onto a plate first. 

Wipe the pan with paper towel if needed. Use the same pan and turn to medium heat. Pour in the chicken along with the marinade. Don't stir too often, just once a while to prevent the sides from burning. Cook till no more marinade juice presents then add in 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Quick mix and cook till the chicken appears medium/dark brown color.

Time to plate the dish, bravely splash some Sriracha sauce on a white plate. Do it at the kitchen sink if possible in case the red sauce flew everywhere -

Scoop steamed white rice to the center of the plate and add some stir fry chives over the over -

Place some chicken on top, don't let it fall onto the plate -

Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and pomelo pulps right before serving -

The best part about using chicken leg is that this part of the meat can withstand extended period of searing without turning into jerky-like texture. Pomelo and chopped cilantro add a refreshing note. If you can't find pomelo, a mixture of grapefruit and orange pulps should work as well.  

Happy belated Chinese Moon Festival!

Other rice bowl/donburi recipes:

Sep 23, 2015

A New Type of Japanese Rice Balls, Not Onigiri, but "Onigirazu" (おにぎらず)

Onigiri is the common Japanese rice ball formed by both hands, you can find more detailed descriptions from one of my old recipes here: Japanese onigiri two ways

"Onigirazu" on the other hand, is more like a rice sandwich. You make it by layering up ingredients on the cling foil then wrap everything by bringing all four foil corners together to tighten the ingredients. The encased rice ball will then cut in half, showing all the nicely layered ingredients just like a sandwich.

Still confused? Hope these step-by-step pictures will help a little.

Onigirazu two ways using Chinese ingredients -

Ingredients (1 to 2 portions)?


Cook about 2 cups of white rice. The actual amount depends on the size of the dried seaweed sheets. 

Lay a sheet of cling foil on the surface and put one dried seaweed sheet in the center. Scoop some rice to the center. 

I used too much rice so it can get tricky when folding in the seaweed. First timers, try to start with smaller amount of rice at least for few rounds of practices, otherwise the onigirazu might explode when attempting to fold in the corners.. 

There are two flavors, one using fish floss and Chinese fried flour stick; the other one utilizing some kitchen leftover with additional lettuce and cheese. The pictures below use fish floss onigirazu as example. After laying and flattening out some rice, add a layer of fish floss, top with Chinese fried flour sticks then one more layer of fish floss again -

Finish with one more layer of white rice. The key here is try to start and finish with layers of rice.

Fold in all four seaweed sheet corners, making sure no ingredients are peeking through. You'll see why starting out with smaller amount of rice is a good idea. To me, folding in all the corners without the rice ball exploding is the hardest part. 

Bringing in all the cling foil corners and tighten them up so the seaweed rice ball stays firm and tidy -

Wait for five minutes before cutting.

Dip the knife in hot water and dry with a kitchen towel. Cut the onigirazu in half with cling foil attached. Once done, you can leave the foil to better hold up the shape or remove before serving.

Here're the layers for my second onigirazu, start from the bottom: 

Seaweed sheet, rice, ground pork stir fry, lettuce, kimchi, Cheddar cheese square, lettuce, ground pork stir fry, rice.

Sounds like a lot and it sure took me quite an effort to keep the rice ball from exploding. The final product was worth it though, packed with flavors, savory ground pork, spicy kimchi, creamy cheese, and all. 

Onigirazu is gaining its popularity recently especially it's easier to make compared to onigiri. As long as you get a hang of the portion that can withhold by the seaweed, you'll have even more fun trying to mix and match all sorts of ingredients. The best part follows after cutting the onigirazu in half, seeing all the work comes to life with these pretty and appetizing layers.

Stay tuned for more flavor varieties. You can also explore some other possibilities and create colorful layers by using carrot, cucumber, ham, corn, and more. Let you be the artist. 

Other bento recipes: